This was so unromantic.

“Come on, Cam, let’s give them some space.” Avery tugged on his arm, and for fuck’s sake, my brother finally listened. He stumbled around, letting her lead him out of the room like he was in a daze.

I watched the door close and debated on running out of the apartment. Maybe Avery’s was unlocked and I could go hide in her closet. For like a week. I did not just admit that I loved him. Please God, let him think I said something else—­anything else. Like maybe I dove you. That was better.

The tips of Jase’s fingers pressed into my cheeks, and he turned my head toward him. The look on his face, a mixture of wildness and stark vulnerability tripped up my heart. I opened my mouth to blurt out something else that probably didn’t need to be said.

Jase’s mouth captured mine, and there was nothing calm or gentle about the kiss. Our lips and teeth mashed together as his tongue thrust in. He slanted his head, spreading his hands as he devoured me. The kiss was rough, intense and sensual, overwhelmingly powerful. Shivers raced through me.

“Wait,” I gasped out, breaking the kiss. “Your jaw . . .”

“I don’t give a f**k about my jaw right now.” He slid his hands down my sides and grasped my hips. Lifting me up, he sat me in his lap so that I straddled him. The position was awkward on my right leg, but it was lost in the sensation of him pressing against my core. The thin layer of clothing between us down there left little to the imagination.

I had no idea how he’d gotten so hard so quickly.

Gripping my hips, he rocked up and raw sensation spiraled through me. His lips were on mine, silencing the needy moan building in my throat. His hands slid down to my thighs and then up under the hem of the shirt, skating over the skin of my sides. I jerked as his fingers brushed the underside of my bare breasts.

“Jase,” I whispered, breathing raggedly. A heavy ache filled my breasts, their tips tightening until I wanted to scream. “My brother is right out there.”

“Fuck your brother.” His hands moved up, closing over my breasts. Finally. “Fuck everything outside of this room.”


My senses spiraled as his thumbs brushed over my ni**les and he rocked his h*ps up again. I moaned his name against his mouth as he gently squeezed my breasts, molding his hands around them. Pleasure streaked through me. I never was very impressed with my br**sts before, but I was then, knowing they seemed to fit his palms perfectly.

Jase shuddered as he shifted, leaving my br**sts and wrapping an arm around my waist. It seemed in one moment he was leaning against the wall and we were sitting and then he was standing, lifting me with him as he explored my mouth, and the next second my back was against the soft mattress.

He hovered over me, his eyes a burning quicksilver. A bruise was forming on his jaw, a harsh reminder of what lay outside the doors, but oh my word, I didn’t care. I wanted him. My body throbbed I wanted him so badly.

Our gazes found each other, and up until that moment I didn’t realize how much control Jase had been exercising every time we’d been together. That control was gone now, lost in a storm of lust and need and something far deeper.

His biceps bulged as he lowered himself between my legs. He rocked slowly as he took my mouth and drew his hand down to my thigh, hooking my left leg over his hip. I heard him moan as I matched his movements, our bodies mimicking what we both wanted. His lips blazed a path down my throat, over the skin of my shoulder, and then back across my collarbone.

My fingers threaded through his soft hair as his mouth worked its way dangerously close to my breast. My breath caught as his mouth closed over the tip of my left breast, sucking the hardened point through the thin cloth. I arched clear off the bed, grinding my teeth together to keep from crying out. His hand closed around my right breast, catching the nipple between skillful, artful fingers. My hands knotted in his hair as his teeth closed on my nipple through the shirt.

A low cry escaped me as a riot of sensation pelted me and I shivered, wanting him closer, inside me. “Please.”

Jase rose up over me, his lips swollen and moist. “You’re so f**king beautiful like this.” His h*ps rolled forward, causing my toes to curl.

Warmth spread through me. I tugged on his hair, urging him down to my lips, and he came, his kiss seeking and sucking. His fingers hooked around the band of my panties, and I knew what was coming if he took them off. He’d be on me and in me, and that’s what I wanted desperately.

He shot me a look that scorched. “I wanted to make this perfect. I wanted to wait, but I can’t now.”

My heart and pulse pounded, my core already rippling. I lifted my behind, pleased when the growl of approval rumbled through him. “I want you,” I said passionately. “I’ve wanted you for so long. I lo—­”

A soft knock on the bedroom door intruded. “Teresa? Jase? I have a bag of ice for you.”

It was like that bag of ice had pressed between both of our legs. We stopped, breathing heavily.

“Teresa?” Avery called softly.

He dropped his forehead on mine and swore swiftly under his breath. A hard shudder rocked him, and he rolled off onto his back. “I can’t go to the door.”

My gaze dropped to his pelvis and his arousal was so visible it made me want to weep in more than one way. Cursing her timing, I reined in my hormones and cleared my throat. “Coming.”

Jase snorted. “Almost.”

I smacked him on the chest, and he laughed, curling up his knees, and once he started, he didn’t stop. The skin around his eyes crinkled and his hair was a rich, russet mess of waves, and in that second, I was reminded of why I loved him so much.

Chapter Twenty-two

Avery had handed over a bag of ice, promising that Cam was almost under control. Us being under control was a totally different story. I knew when Avery saw me at the door that she had a good idea what had been going in the room between Jase and me. My hair was a ratty messy, lips swollen and cheeks flushed. She didn’t say anything, but as she turned, I swore I saw her grin.

They were in Cam’s bedroom, and we were in the other. Both Jase and I were back in the clothes we’d worn yesterday, which at least made me feel more appropriate, while I held the ice to his jaw. It hadn’t begun to swell, but it was an angry shade of red.

He eyed me over the bag. “That didn’t go as planned.”

I laughed in spite of everything. “No shit.”

A smile turned up his lips and he groaned, pulling back. “Ow.”

“Don’t smile,” I ordered. I pressed the bag back to his jaw. A ­couple of moments passed. “Some of it wasn’t bad.”

“Wasn’t bad?” His eyes had been a smoldering silver since he’d rolled off me, and they now burned even brighter. Slipping an arm around my waist, he tugged me forward and down, so I was sitting on his bent legs. “Some of it was stuff wet dreams are made of.”

I made a face. “That’s romantic.”

He curled his fingers around my wrist, pulling my hand with the ice down as his gaze swept over my face. “I didn’t mean to lose control like that.”

“I didn’t mind.” My cheeks heated. “Wish we could’ve finished.”

A deep sound rolled out from him as he wrapped his hand around the nape of my neck, guiding my head down. His lips sealed over mine in a slow, languid kiss that stroked the unspent flames of desire. The kiss deepened as his tongue met mine, twisted and spiraled and, damn, this boy could kiss—­

The bedroom door burst open and Cam barreled in. “For shit’s sake, do I need to hit you again, Jase?”

“Damnit,” I moaned, breaking away and casting Cam a dirty look. “Do you know how to knock? It isn’t that hard.”

He looked unrepentant as he glared at Jase. “I came in here to try to talk this out and I walk in, and she’s in your lap and you’re f**king her with your tongue.”

Jase’s mouth opened and I had a god-­awful feeling he was going to explain that he wasn’t f**king me with his mouth at this moment.

“Cam,” I started, shifting the ice in my hand. “You really need to chill.”

“And you will need to get out of his lap.”

Avery’s eyes rolled.

“She’s where she wants to be,” Jase replied, voice surprisingly calm. “And I’m going to tell you this. I’m not pissed that you hit me. I deserved it. I should’ve told you the first time we kissed, which was a year ago.”

Cam tensed.

“Let me finish,” Jase went on, keeping his arm secured around my waist. “We kissed that night before we left early during fall break. Nothing happened again until this fall. I tried to fight it.”

“Yeah, looks like you tried really hard.”

Irritation pricked my skin as I stared up at my brother. “He did try, Cam. And it wasn’t like we’ve been hiding this forever. We planned to tell you on Wednesday, but you had other things going on.” I waited until recognition flared in his gaze. “And then this with Debbie—­” My throat closed up, and Jase’s arm tightened around me. “Anyway, it wasn’t like we were trying to hide it from you. There just wasn’t a good moment for it.”

“And they’re telling you now,” Avery said. Apparently she’d become the voice of reason when it came to my brother. “I think this is a good thing.”

“I think it makes me doubt Teresa’s ability to tell the difference between common sense and her hormones,” he muttered, running a hand through his hair.

My mouth snapped shut as I sent him a look that should’ve shriveled his balls right up. Jase, who’d been rather calm during round two, had a totally different reaction. Picking me up out of his lap, he deposited me on the edge of the bed and stood.

A muscle thrummed along his jaw. “Look, I’m not going to hold you hitting me against you, but if you talk to your sister like that again or say shit about her intelligence or, in general, insult or embarrass her, we’re going to have a problem. A big motherfucking problem. I care about her,” Jase said, meeting Cam’s glare when those words apparently didn’t do anything to make him feel better. “I care about her . . . just as much as I care about Jack.”

Cam took a step back and paled like Jase had punched him in the throat. Avery didn’t catch the meaning, but my brother did. He glanced at me, and I raised my brows, signaling that I knew the truth.

My brother looked like he was about to pass out, and I suddenly had the wild urge to laugh. He slowly shook his head and then said, “For real?”

Jase nodded. “For real.”

“Well . . .” He backed off, appearing startled. “I guess I’m . . .”

“Happy for us?” I suggested, tossing the bag of ice up and catching it. “Because I could really focus on the happy stuff right about now.”

Cam looked at me, his features softening, even as Jase returned to the bed and placed a hand on my thigh, squeezing gently. “Shit, Teresa, sorry. I’m just—­”

“Overprotective,” Avery suggested, smiling when he looked at her. “And a bit of a douche canoe sometimes?”

I grinned. “Sounds about right.”

“Yeah, okay, I might’ve overreacted, but it’s just because I care about you. You’re my sister and I’m supposed to act like a douche when it comes to guys you’re with.”

“You got that part down to a science,” Jase muttered.

Cam flipped him off, and the tension in my muscles started to ease. If they were flipping the bird to each other, they were back to normal.

“Anyway, the reason why we’re back so early is because we started receiving texts this morning about Debbie,” Avery explained, veering the topic into a less-­happy subject, but a necessary one. “We needed to come home.”

“I wish you hadn’t,” I murmured, thinking of Cam’s plans.

“There was no way we wouldn’t,” my brother replied, crouching down in front of me. “Please tell me the rumors aren’t true. That you didn’t find her like that.”

I wrapped my arms around my chest, as if I could ward off the memory of her. “It’s true.”

Cam swore.

“Oh, my God . . .” Avery pressed her hand to her mouth. “That’s horrible.”

It was, but not as horrific as what Debbie had done. As Jase explained that I needed to go to the police today to give a statement, I tried to figure out why she would’ve done it. She’d been upset the night before, but she’d also been so full of hope. I didn’t know her extremely well, but there were no signs that she was that depressed or that she would consider doing something so final.

“You can’t stay in that dorm,” Cam decided as he stood. “You can stay here.”

Jase dropped his arm over my shoulders. “I agree with this idea.”

Part of me jumped at the idea, because there was no way I could go back to the dorm, but it was asking a lot. “I don’t want to be a pain in the ass.”

“Cam pretty much lives in my apartment as it is,” Avery interjected. “You’d probably have this place to yourself for the most part.”


“And it’s a great offer,” Jase said, drawing my attention. “I don’t want you back in that dorm. So it’s either staying here or you’re coming to live in the frat house with me.”

The idea of being under the same roof as Erik turned my stomach. “I want to pay rent or something. I’ll get a job once my leg gets better.”